Where is the Power to Face the Future with Courage and Gratitude
The future is inhabited by phantoms. Hoping for clarity, stability, or security amplifies anxiety.
Nostalgia pulls you toward a glamorized past. But the future, like the ghost of Christmas Yet To Come, never speaks.
“Ghost of the Future!” he [Scrooge] exclaimed, “I fear you more than any specter I have seen.” (Pg. 70)
The future is more terrifying than the past or the present.
Look toward the future with courage.
The people around you either strengthen your heart or weaken your knees.
Find courage by nurturing connection with those who stay true even when the boat begins filling with water.
- Who pushed forward – with you – when the world turned to quicksand?
- Who stood on your right and left during past crisis?
- Who helped you become who you are?
Find courage knowing that others made a difference for you.
Courage faces the future acknowledging that you make a difference for others because others made a difference for you.
Look toward the future with gratitude, not anxiety.
Gratitude anticipates opportunity. Anxiety anticipates harm.
Gratitude says, “I’m thankful to contribute.” Anxiety dwells on uncertainty. Gratitude views uncertainty as opportunity to rise and make a difference.
Anxiety despises gratitude.
Nothing drains power from anxiety like expressions of gratitude. (Remember that unexpressed gratitude is ungratefulness.)
Gratitude knows you will rise to future challenges just like you rose to past challenges.
Gratitude toward the past enables learning. Gratitude toward the future opens your eyes to opportunity.
3 enemies of gratitude:
- Controlling – trying to control things that can’t be controlled.
- Resentment – refusing to see advantage in disadvantage.
- Negative focus – dwelling on the worst possible outcomes. Dread drains gratitude of resolve.
Future-focused gratitude increases optimism and grit, even though the future is uncertain.
Which seems most relevant to you today, courage or gratitude?
What attributes enable leaders to face an uncertain future with confidence?
Resilience: face the future with confidence | CABA
How to prepare for the new future of work (fastcompany.com)
Which seems most relevant to you today, courage or gratitude? Today i see “courage’ the individuals on the front lines everyday trying to help people medically during the pandemic, I see the Law enforcement being pushed to their limits yet showing the courage to maintain a sense of calm. I see the gratitude side of those being heeled telling the story the battle is tough and forge ahead, “never give up” from many, and those who tried and lost the battle will be granted eternal life if they believe?
What attributes enable leaders to face an uncertain future with confidence? They have the “courage”, ‘experience”, “positive mindset”, to take the challenges head on and make the decisions to carry their Teams, workers, followers to the best place they can be to proceed with the operation or functionality of the business. The Generals in the Army, the Surgeons in the hospital, the Pastor of their church, Owner at the coffee shop all have the Courage to step forward for another day because they have the tenacity for what it takes. The mental toughness to lead the team to the end.
Thanks for the reminder about the courage of all those who serve us during tough times. We can become obsessed with our own struggle and forget that others are facing struggles as well.
I wonder if mental toughness precedes gratitude or if gratitude is foundational to mental toughness? I think gratitude comes before toughness. The exception might be the toughness that is fueled by anger or bitterness.
Dan, thank you for this inspiring year-end reminder.
Several things came to mind as I read this. First, the book “Embracing Uncertainty,” by the late, great Susan Jeffers. She said that when we live from our innately wise and loving Higher Self, rather than our anxiety-ridden ego, we can confront and effectively deal with anything. We’ve done it before, we can do it again. The resources are within us!
I’m also reminded that there is very little we can control except for our conscious and intentional response to any given situation. Therein lies our freedom, our freedom to choose. This, in contrast to our ego’s impulsive, often unconscious reactions that may destroy our relationships, well-being and impact. So, let’s choose to be response-able rather than reactive. The dividends are so much greater!
Furthermore, I can’t help but think that the future is a psychological construct, much like the past. Unfortunately, we risk being elsewhere, rather than in the moment, when we overlook this. We must remember that when we were living in the past, it was in fact the present moment, the only moment we ever have. When the future arrives, it too will be in the present moment. And in that moment, there’s a terrific chance we will be able to deal with whatever comes our way because it’s hardly ever as bad as we anticipate. So, let’s stay present in the here and now, fully experience the ebb and flow of life, and remain grateful for what is, the gift of life.
Finally, I’m reminded that a sense of clarity, stability and security come from within. Unfortunately, we all too often mistakenly believe these are driven by external forces such as money, status, celebrity, others’ opinions of us, and the like. In fact, our real power and sense of security come from living in alignment with our values and our purpose and from knowing how to genuinely love ourselves and others. Let me end with a quote from the late M. Scott Peck, author of “The Road Less Traveled”: “Love is the willingness to extend oneself for the nourishment of one’s spiritual growth and the spiritual growth of the other.”
Let us continue to grow and gracefully embrace the present moment, our life, with gratitude and courage, no matter what comes our way.
Thank you for your reflections Kim. I find your thought compelling. I’ve always been intrigued that the only way to impact the future is to take action today. In that sense, the future is now.
The use of the future is it contains our hopes, dreams, and goals. But it’s completely useless if we don’t act now. There is no such thing as acting in the future.
The idea that clarity, stability, and security come from within seems useful and challenging. I cannot escape that the that others impact us.
To me Gratitude seems more relevant.When we learn Gratitude helps building Courage I guess it is advantageous to be grateful for the past & future as you suggest. Good perspective.
Thanks Nagarajan. I appreciate you dropping in and reflecting on these ideas. Gratitude enables/strengthens courage. It’s hard to be courageous and ungrateful at the same time. I think it’s easy to be fear-filled and ungrateful.
Which seems most relevant to you today, courage or gratitude? I am grateful that I have the courage to face the future with hope, with strength, with Love and with Joy in my heart. In what has become in some ways a year when joy has been continuously ripped from our very being I will not succumb to the fear doubt and uncertainty that many want us mired in. I turn first to my immediate family and friends and then extend outward to those who have and continue to positively support me and I them. I find there is no other way otherwise I would have let that fear, doubt and uncertainty defeat me as they would have it do so. Besides I know who walks with me with each step.
Thanks Roger. “I am grateful that I have the courage to face the future with hope,…” You often assimilate ideas.
Your comment made me smile.
or this one: https://doi.org/10.1007/s42048-020-00086-0
Thanks for sharing this resource, Victoria!
you are welcome
I am truly indebted to your materials and content that are of huge relevance to practical areas of what our lives are concern.
Thank you so much and look forward to 2021.
Thank you Kamong. You are an encouragement. I wish you well in 2021.